Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

a

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

it from me. I called again the next day, strong as the fondness of imitating the
and found, to my great surprise, a some- French has been among people of fashion,
what better reception from my friend the they have not yet introduced among us
porter, who immediately, as I heard after- their contempt for trade. A French mare
wards, by order from his lord, introduced quis, who has nothing to boast of but his
me into the library. When I entered, I high birth, would scorn to take a mer-
saw a gentleman in an arm-chair reading chant's daughter by the hand in wedlock,
a pamphlet, whom, as I did not know him, though her father should be as rich as the
I took for my lord himself, especially as he Bussy of the East Indies; as if a French-
did not rise from his chair, or so much as man was only to be valued, like a black-
offer to look towards me, on my entering. pudding, for the goodness of his blood;
I immediately addressed myself to him while our nobility not only go into the
with—“ My lord”—But was instantly city for a wife, but send their younger
told by him, without taking his eyes from sons to a merchant's counting-house for
the pamphlet, that his brother was dress- education. But, I confess, I never con-
ing: he read on, and left me to con- sidered, till very lately, how far they
template the situation I was in, that if I have from time to time departed from this
had been treated with so much contempt French folly in their esteem for trade :
from the porter and my lord's brother, and I find that the greatest part of our no-
what must I expect from my noble pa- bility may be properly deemed merchants,
tron? While I was thus reflecting, in if not traders, and even shopkeepers.
comes a gentleman, running up to me, In the first place we may consider many
and taking me cordially by the hand, of our nobility in the same light as Beaver
said, he was heartily glad to see me. I or Henson, or any other keepers of repo-
was greatly distressed to know how to sitories. The breeding of running-horses
behave. I could not imagine this to be is become a favourite traffic among them;
his lordship, who was so affable and cour- and we know how very largely persons of
teous, and I could not suppose it was the first fashion deal this way, and what
any body who meant to insult me. My great addition they make to their yearly
anxiety was removed by his pulling out income by winning plates and matches,
the letter I had left, and saying, “ He was and then selling the horse for a prodigious
“ very happy that it was in his power to What advantages must accrue to

comply with the contents of it;" at them if they have a mare of blood to breed the same time introducing me to his bro- from! But what a treasure bave they if ther, as a gentleman he was happy to they are possessed of the stallion in fashion! know. This younger brother arose from I can therefore see no difference between his chair with great indifference; and, this occupation of my lord and that of any taking me coolly by the hand, said, “ He Yorkshire dealer whatsoever: and if his “ should be proud of so valuable an lordship is not always so successful in his acquaintance ;” and, resuming his seat, trade as the jockey of the North, it is not proceeded to finish his pamphlet. Upon because he does not equally hold it fair to taking leave, my lord renewed his former cheat his own brother in horse flesh. Ifa declaration; but his brother was too in- duke rides his own horses on the course, tent on his reading to observe the bow he does not, in my judgment, differ from made to him by the valuable acquaintance any other jockey on the turf; and I think he a few minutes before professed him- it the same thing, whether a man gets self so proud of.

money by keeping a stallion, or whether I am not ignorant, however, that there he gets it by keeping a bull or a boar for are many younger brothers to peers, who the parish. acknowledge, with much concern, the We know of many persons of quality truth of what has been said, and are whose passion for trade has made them ready to allow, that, in too many fami- dealers in fighting-cocks, and I heard one lies of distinction, the younger brother is declare to me lately, that there was no not the finer gentleman.

trusting to servants in that business ; that I am your humble servant, &c. he should make nothing of it, if he did not

B. Thornton, look after the cocks himself; and that, for $ 112. Persons of Quality proved to be

a month before he is to fight a match, he Traders.

always takes care of and feeds them himI always reflect with pleasure, that self; and for that purpose (strange as it

sum.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

а

a

may seem) he lies in a little room close by where the person to be insured is not in them every night. I cannot but admire perfect health ; while the merchants at this industry, which can make my noble St. James's, who insure by means of bets friend quit his lady's bed, while tradesmen instead of policies, will pay you any of a lower rank neglect their business for sum whatsoever, if a man dies that is rua the charms of a kept mistress. But it must through the body, shot through the head, be allowed, that these dealers in live fowl or has tumbled off his chair in an apoare to be considered as poulterers, as well plexy; for as there are persons who will as those who sell the deer of their park are lay on either side, he who wants to insure to be ranked among the butchers in Clare- need only choose that which answers his market; though the latter endeavour art- purpose. And as to the dealings of these fully to avoid ihis, by selling their venison merchants of fashion in annuities upon to pastry-cooks and fishmongers.

lives, we often hear that one sells his whole What shall we say of those who send estate, for his life, to another; and there is venison, hares, pheasants, partridges, and no other form of conveyance used between all other game, to their poulterer and fish- the buyer and seller, ihan by shuffling a monger in London, to receive an equiva- pack of cards, or throwing a pair of dice; lent in poultry and fish in winter when but I cannot look upon this sort of traffic they are in town?

Though these sports. in any other light than that, when a conmen do not truck their commodities for demned felon sells his own body to a surmoney, they are nothing less than higlers geon to be anatomized. and hucksters, dealers and chapmen, in After all, there is no branch of trade the proper sense of the words ; for an ex- that is ugually extended so far, and has change was never denied to be a sale, such a variety in it, as gaming; whether though it is affirmed to be no robbery. we consider it as carried on by cards,

I come now to the consideration of dice, horse-racing, pitting, betting, &c. those who deal in a much larger and more &c. &c. These inerchants deal in very extensive way, and are properly styled various commodities, and do not seem to merchants, while those already mentioned be very anxious in general about any difare little more than traders in the retailing ference in value, when they are striking a business ; what immense sums re- bargain : for, though some expect ready ceived by those electioneering merchants, money for ready money when they play, whose fortunes and influence in many as they would blood for blood in a duel, counties and boroughs enable them to many, very many, part with their ready procure a seat in parliament for any that money to those who deal upon trust, nay will pay for it! How profitable has oftentimes to those who are known to be nursing the estates of extravagant persons incapable of paying. Sometimes I have of distinction proved to many a right ho- seen a gentleman bet his gold with a lady nourable friend! I do not mean from who has ear-rings, bracelets, aod other his shewing himself a true steward, but diamonds to answer her stake: but I from the weight and interest he has got have much ofterer seen a lady play against by it at a general election. What Jew a roll of guineas, with nothing but her deals larger ihan many of our nobility in virtue to part with to preserve her honour the stocks and in lottery tickets ? and if she lost. The markets, in which the perhaps one should not find more bulls multiplicity of business of this kind is and bears at Jonathan's than at Arthur's. transacted, are very many, and are chiefly If you cannot, at this last place, insure appropriated to that end and no other, your house from fire, or a ship from the such as routs, assemblies, Arthur's. Newdanger of the seas, or the French, you market, and the courses in every county. may get largely underwrit on lives, -and Where these merchants trade in ready insure your own against that of your money only, or in bank notes, I consider mother or grandmother for any sum what. them as bankers of quality: where in

There are those who deal as ready money against trust, and notes of greatly in this practice of putting one hand of persons that are but little able to life against

another as any under. pay, they must be broken merchants : and writer in the city of London : and indeed, whoever plays with money against a lady's the end of insuring is less answered by the jewels, should, in my mind, hang out the latter than the former : for the prudent Three Blue Balls in a private alley; citizen will not set his name to any policy, and the lady who stakes her virtue. for

are

soever.

a

a

gold, should take the house of a late ve- are, it belongs to the illiterate as well as nerable matron in the Piazza to carry on the learned ; and St. James's itself may her trade in that place.

boast of producing as arrant pedants as But it is with pleasure I see our mer- were even sent forth from a college. chants of quality neglecting several I know a woman of fashion who is perbranches of trade that have been carried petually employed in remarks upon the on with success, and in which great for- weather, who observes from morning to tunes have been raised in former times by noon that it is likely to rain, and from some of their ancestors. What immense noon to night that it spits, that it misles, sums have, we know, been got by some that it is set in for a wet evening; and, great men in the smuggling trade! And being incapable of any other discourse, is we have heard of large profits being made as insipid a companion, and just as peby the sale of commissions in the army dantic, as he who quotes Aristotle over and navy; by procuring places and pen- his tea, or talks Greek at a cardsions; and vast sums received for

quar

table. tering a lord's sister, nephew, or natural A gentleman of my acquaintance is a son on any one who holds a profitable constant attendant upon parliamentary bupost. under the government. Smuggling, siness, and I have heard him entertain a surely, should be left to our good friends large circle, by the hour, with the speeches on the shores of Kent and Sussex; and, that were made in a debate upon mum I think, he who sells commissions in the and perry. He has a wonderful memory, navy or army, the free gists of the prince, and a kind of oratorical tune in his elocushould suffer like a deserter, to be keel tion, that serves him instead of an emphahauled to death under a first-rate man of sis. By those means he has acquired the war: and he who like a Turkish vizier, reputation of having a deal to say for levies contributions on those who hold himself; but as it consists entirely of posts and places under his master, should, what others have said for themselves belike him, be squeezed in his turn, till the fore him, and if he should be deaf during spunge is dry, and then bow-stringed for the sessions, he would certainly be dumb the good of the people.

in the intervals, I must needs set him I am your humble servant, down for a pedant. B. Thornlon. But the most troublesome, as well as

most dangerous character of this sort that § 113. On Pedantry.

I am so unhappy as to be connected with, Sir,

is a strippling who spends his whole life To display the least symptom of learn- in a fencing-echool. "This amiable young

a ing, or to seem to know more than your pedant is, indeed, a most formidable creafootman, is become an offence against the ture; his whole conversation lies in rules of politeness, and is branded with Quart and Tierce ; if you meet him in the name of pedantry and ill-breeding. the street, he salutes you in the gymnasThe very sound of a Roman or a Grecian tic manner, throws himself back upon his name, of a hard name, as the ladies call left hip, level his cane at the pit of your it, though their own perhaps are harder stomach, and looks as fierce as a prizeby half, is enough to disconcert the tem- fighter. In the midst of a discourse upon per of a dozen countesses, and to strike a politics, he starts from the table on a sudwhole assembly of fine gentlemen dumb den, and splits himself into a monstrous with amazement.

lounge against the wainscot; immeThis squeamishness of theirs is owing to diately he puts a foil into your hand, intheir aversion to pedantry, which they un- sists upon teaching you his murdering derstand to be a sort of mustiness that thrust, and if, in the course of his instruc. can only be contracted in a recluse and a tions, he pushes out an eye or a fore-tooth, studious life, and a foible peculiar to men he tells you, that you flapp'd your point, of letters. But if a strong attachment to a or dropp'd your wrist, and imputes all particular subject, a total ignorance of the mischief to the awkwardness of his every other, an eagerness to introduce that pupil. subject upon all occasions, and a con- The musical pedant, who, instead of firmed habit of declaiming upon it with attending to the discourse, diverts kiinout either wit or discretion, be the marks self with humming an air, or, if he speaks, of a pedantic character, as they certainly expresses himself in the language of the

a

orchestra ; the Newmarket pedant, who festivity; and the mechanic is allowed to has no knowledge but what he gathers get drunk on this day, if on no other, beupon the turf; the female pedant, who cause he has nothing else to do. It is is an adept in nothing but the patterns of true, that the citizen on this day gets silk and flounces ; and the coffee-house loose from his counter, to which he had pedant, whose whole erudition lies within been fastened all the rest of the week like the margin of a newspaper, are nuisances a bad shilling, and riots in the luxuries of so extremely common, that it is almost Islington or Mile-end. But what shall unnecessary to mention them. Yet, pe- be said of those who have no business to dants as they are, they shelter themselves follow but the bent of their inclinations ? under the fashionableness of the foible, on whose hands, indeed, all the days of and with all the properties of the character, their life would hang as heavy as Sundays,

, generally escape the imputation of it. In if they were not enlivened by the dear vamy opinion, however, they deserve our riety of amusements and diversions. How censure more than the merest book-worm can a woman of any spirit pass her time imaginable. The man of letters is usually on this dismal day, when the play-houses, confined to his study, and having but lit- and Vauxhall, and Ranelagh are shut, and tle pleasure in conversing with men of the no places of public meeting are open, but world, does not often intrude himself into the churches ? I talk not of those in higher their company: these unlearned pedants, life, who are so much above the world, on the contrary, are to be met with every that they are out of the reach of its cenwhere; they have nothing to do but to sures; I mean those who are confined in run about and be troublesome, and are a narrower sphere, so as to be obliged to universally the bane of agreeable conver- pay some regard to reputation. But if sation. I am, Sir, &c.

people in town have reason to complain

B. Thornton. of this weekly bar put upon their plea$ 114. A Sunday in the Country.

sures, how unhappy must they be who

are immured in the old mansion house in Sir,

Aug. 8, 1761. the country, and cloistered up (as it were) As life is so short, you

will

agree with in a nunnery? This is my hard case: my me, that we cannot afford to lose any of aunt, who is a woman of the last age, that precious time, every moment of which took me down with her this summer to should be employed in such gratifications ber house in Northamptonshire; nor shall as are suitable to our stations and dispo- I be released from my prison till the time sitions. For this reason we caonot but of the coronation, which will be as joyful lament, that the year should be curtailed to me as the act of grace to an insolvent of almost a seventh part, and that, out of debtor. My time, however, is spent three hundred and sixty-five days, fifty- agreeably enough, as far as any thing can two of them should be allotted, with re- be agreeable in the country, as we live in spect to many persons, to dulness and in- a good neighbourhood, see a good deal of sipidity. You will easily conceive, that, company, pay a good many visits, and are by what I have said, I allude to that ene- near enough Astrop-Wells for me to play my to all mirth and gaiety, Sunday, whose at cards at all the public breakfastings, impertinent intrusion puts a check on our and to dance at the assemblies. But, as amusements, and casts a gloom over our I told you, my aunt is an old-fashioned cheerful thoughts. Persons, indeed, of lady, and has got queer notions of I know high fashion regard it no more than the not what. I dread nothing so much as other part of the week, and would no the coming round of Sunday, which is more be restrained from their pleasures sure to prove, to me at least, a day of on this day, than they wonld keep fast on penance and mortification. In the morna fast-day : but others, who bave the ing we are dragged, in the old family same taste and spirit, though less fortunes, coach, to the parish church, not a stone's are constrained, in order to save appear- throw off the house, for grandeur sake; ances, to debar themselves of every amuse- and, though I dress me ever so gay, the ment except that of going to church, ignorant bumpkins take no more notice of which they can only enjoy in common me than they do of my aunt, who is mufwith the vulgar. The vulgar, it is true, filed up to the chin. At dinner we never have the happy privilege of converting see a creature but the parson, who never this holy day into a day of extraordinary fails coming for his customary fee of roast

a

a

beef and plum pudding; in the after- settled and variable as the tempers of the noon the same dull work of church-going people; nor can you judge, from the apis repeated; and the evening is as me- pearance of the sky, whether it will raia lancholy as it is to a criminal who is to or hold up for a moment together, any be executed the next morning. When I more than you can tell by the face of a first came down, I proposed playing a man, whether be will lower in a frown, or game at whist, and invited the doctor to clear up in a smile. An unexpected make a fourth; but my aunt looked upon shower has obliged me to turn into the the very mention of it as an abomination. first inn; and I think I may e'en as well I thought there could be no harm in a lit- pass my time in writing for your paper, tle innocent music; and therefore, one especially as I have nothing else to do, morning, while she was getting ready for having examined all the prints in the room, church, I began to tune my guitar, the read over all the rhymes, and admired all sound of which quickly brought her down the Dear Misses and Charming Misses on stairs, and she vowed she would break it the window-panes. all to pieces, if I was so wicked as to As I had the honour to pay my skilling touch it: though I offered to compromise at the ordinary in this town with some of the matter with her, by playing nothing the officers of the militia, I am enabled but psalm-tunes to please her. I hate to send you a few thoughts on that subreading any thing, but especially good ject. With respect to the common men, books, as my aunt calls them, which are it will be sufficient to observe, that in dull at any time, but much duller on a many military practices, no body of reguSunday; yet my aunt wonders I will not lars can possibly exceed them. Their employ myself, when I have nothing to prowess in marauding is unquestionable; do, in reading Nelson on the Feasts and as they are sure to take prisoners whatFasts, or a chapter in the Bible. You ever stragglers they meet with on their must know, that the day I write this on march, such as geese, turkeys, chickens, is Sunday; and it happens to be so very &c. and have been often known to make rainy, that my aunt is afraid to venture a perfect desert of a farmer's yard. Byherself in the damp church, for fear of in- the-bye, it is possibly on this account, creasing her rheumatism; she has there- that a turkey bears so great an antipathy fore put on her spectacles, ordered the to the colour of red. These fellows are, great family bible into the ball, and is go- indeed, so intrepid, that they will attack ing to read prayers herself to the servants. any convoy of provisions that falls in I excused myself from being present, by their way; and my landlord assures me, pretending an head-ach, and stole into my that as soon as they come into a town, closet, in order to divert myself in writing they immediately lay close siege to the to you. How I shall be able to go through pantry and kitchen : which they comthe rest of the day, I know not; as the monly take by storm, and never give rain, I believe, will not suffer us to stir any quarter ; as also, that they are exout, and we shall sit moping and yawning cellent miners, in working their way into at one another, and looking stupidly at the cellar. the rain out of the Gothic window in the I little imagined that I should have met little parlour, like the clean and unclean with my old university acquaintance Jacle beasts in Noah's ark. It is said, that the Five Bar in this part of the country, as I gloomy weather in November induces could not but think we had been at least Englishmen commonly to make away two hundred miles asunder. Indeed I did with themselves; and, indeed, consider- not know him at his first accosting me, as ing the weather and all together, I believe he approached slowly to me with a distantI shall be tempted to drown myself at ly familiar air, and a sliding bow forward, once in the pond before the door, or fairly and a “Sir, your most bumble servant," tuck myself up in my own garters.

instead of springing upon me like a greyI am your very humble servant, hound, and clapping me on the shoulder

Dorothy Thursday. like a bailiff, squeezing my four fingers
B. Thornton. in his rough palm, like a nut-cracker, and

then whirling my arm to and fro, like $ 115. On the Mililia.

the handle of a great pump, with a blunt Sir,

Aug. 9, 1761.

“How dost do?-I am glad to see thee? The weather here in England is as un- --and a hearty Damme at the beginning

a

a

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »